19 April, 2021

Bird’s Eye Stew

Instead of hitting out wildly, the Modi regime should have reacted cannily to criticism on social media—platforms it has used to its own, immense benefit

Bird’s Eye Stew

How does global politics—and its well-manicured handmaiden, diplomacy—go with the risky, addictive charms of social media? Well, politics could hardly resist the easy temptation. After all, here was a readymade weapon of mass delusion, available on the cheap. But the blind date is turning out to be a stormy one. First, politicians played the game; now the game has started playing them. Former US President Donald Trump was, in a sense, the first one to really split the atom. Breaking the genteel protocols of traditional diplomatese, he pretty much turned American politics on its head—maybe even global politics—when he took to Twitter. An unimpressive speaker who often found it difficult to craft a well-formed sentence like the old masters, and with an erratic, non-conformist persona, he found a natural playing field in that rough and tumble. So whether to announce his plans to wall up Mexico, to chastise China, heckle European leaders and Canadian premier Justin Trudeau, or praise Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, we all heard about it...

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